AI and automation have revolutionised the relationship between people and technology, and this change has been felt in recruitment too. HR professionals have found that AI can help them attract, engage, and develop talent more efficiently.
However, there are some things you should keep in mind before making AI and automation part of your recruitment strategy. Read on to learn how you can take advantage of the benefits of AI while avoiding the risks.
- What are the benefits of AI in recruitment?
- What are the disadvantages of AI in recruitment?
- Does AI in recruitment lead to bias?
- How can I start using AI in my recruitment?
What are the benefits of AI in recruitment?
Two key performance indicators that recruitment professionals focus on are time to hire and quality of hire:
- Time to hire: how long does hiring take
Quality of hire: how much value does a new hire bring to the company
Time to hire
Finding the right person for a role can be a time-consuming process. AI and automation can help with this by taking care of repetitive tasks for you, like screening CVs for keywords, scheduling interviews, and entering information into your applicant tracking system (ATS). This leaves you more time to engage directly with candidates.
Quality of hire
It can also be a challenge to identify the best potential hires from a large pool of candidates. AI can help by quickly searching through applications looking for key attributes. These could be fed to the AI, or it can learn over time what sort of characteristics you’re looking for in candidates.
This can be especially useful in helping you identify good fits from the vast pool of passive candidates.
AI can also be helpful if you are hiring based on skills rather than job descriptions. It can assess what capabilities are missing from your workforce, and target candidates that meet these, even if they don’t fit neatly into an existing vacancy.
What are the disadvantages of AI in recruitment?
Clearly, AI can be a powerful tool for recruitment. But what issues should you be aware of before embracing this technology?
Need for quality data
AI is only as effective as the data that feeds it. If you want to rely on AI software, you’ll need to make sure that you and your software partner have a network able to supply the amount of data necessary for AI to work effectively.
Managing employee concerns
Like any technology, AI and automation can make the lives of your employees easier. But employees are naturally concerned about the potential of losing their jobs to a machine. If you’re introducing AI to your company, take a gradual approach that allows time for demos, training, and feedback.
Specialist AI recruitment software varies in price, but can prove to be very expensive. It is worth considering whether your company’s recruitment needs warrant subscribing to an AI software. Would an all-round ATS that incorporates automation tools to save you time be a better choice?
Potential for bias
Relying on AI may seem like a good way to avoid the conscious and unconscious biases that humans are subject to. However, if you’re not very careful, it’s possible for AI to “learn” biases through the data it is given.
Does AI in recruitment lead to bias?
AI can “learn” biases by being given skewed data to work with.
For example, few companies have embraced AI and automation as much as Amazon. They built an AI to rate candidates on a 1-5 scale using CVs submitted over the last 10 years as a guide. In 2015, they realised that since these CVs mostly came from men, the AI had taught itself that male candidates were better, and started eliminating CVs that included the word “women”, along with graduates from two all-women colleges.
Amazon abandoned the project in 2018, and stressed that while they used the AI’s recommendations, they never relied on them completely, underscoring the need for human supervision of AI in recruitment.
As Nihar Shah, teacher of machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University, warns, “How to ensure that the algorithm is fair, how to make sure the algorithm is really interpretable and explainable—that’s still quite far off.”
Another AI studies the speech and facial movements of a candidate taking part in a video interview to determine whether they would fit the company’s profile. Dr Eleanor Drage of Cambridge University dismisses this idea as having “no scientific basis”.
Dr Drage noted that changing the contrast, brightness, or saturation would change a candidate’s score, and Bavarian Broadcasting researchers found wearing glasses or a headscarf would also interfere with the AI’s recommendation.
The lesson to learn from Amazon and similar examples is not that AI and automation shouldn’t be a part of your recruitment strategy, but that they can only be effective tools when carefully managed by skilled recruiters.
Read our article on how to avoid bias when using automated recruitment software.
How can I start using AI and automation in my recruitment?
A great place to start using AI and automation is handling certain repetitive tasks for you, and compiling data to aid in your decision making.
Job ad targeting
There are hundreds of job boards to choose from, including niche ones focussed on particular locations, industries, or roles. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but AI can help here, by recommending job boards that meet your company’s particular recruitment needs. Find out how JOIN’s software can help you find the right job boards for your job ad.
It’s easy for even experienced recruiters to make a mistake, such as spending too much on a job ad, or not spending enough on promoting a key role. JOIN uses AI to power our “Smart Spend” feature, taking performance data from thousands of premium job ads to set up a recruitment strategy that spends your budget where it will do the most.
Find out how JOIN can help you promote your job ads.
For example, you can save time by writing one job ad and then having a multiposting tool automatically post the job ad to multiple different job boards in one click. Take a look at our article on how to make the most of multiposting.
One repetitive task that takes up a lot of time for recruiters is responding to candidates. In fact, many recruiters don’t bother responding to unsuccessful candidates at all.
Instead, use an automated tool to fill in a pre-prepared email with the candidate’s details and send it for you. This means you can respond to good candidates more quickly and avoid letting them go elsewhere. Ghosting unsuccessful candidates is a common mistake for recruiters, as it hurts their employer branding. Remember, recruitment is marketing!
Find out how JOIN helps you manage your candidates.
AI can help you refine your recruitment strategy by telling you how your job ad is performing, so you can tell which jobs are working for you and which ones aren’t. Take a look at our article on how to start analysing your recruitment process.
88% of companies globally are already using AI in some way for HR, according to SHRM. Adopting a recruitment strategy that combines powerful AI and automation technology with experienced human professionals will prove to be the most successful way to win the race for top candidates.
With an ATS like JOIN, you can start using automation tools to make your hiring process faster, easier, and more cost-effective, and get the benefits AI has to offer recruitment in a safe, manageable way.